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Fractious Fairytale

October 13, 1985

I appreciate that Calendar took the time and space (not to mention the front cover) to cover blues, which The Times generally overlooks in favor of the latest fashion plates carrying guitars and synthesizers.

But I can't figure out why you had to go all the way down to Texas to write an article about a bunch of second-rate bluesmen whose main claim to fame is simply surviving longer than Muddy, Wolf and Nighthawk.

Here in California, Los Angeles to be exact, there was and is a thriving blues scene. Smokey Hogg, Elmore James, Lightnin' Hopkins, Guitar Slim, T-Bone Walker and Amos Milburn, to name a few, all recorded their best stuff out here in the '40s and early '50s.

Lowell Fulson has lived in Los Angeles for 35 years, and his blues records were big sellers for many years. He had more hits than any bluesman out of Chicago. Two other fine bluesmen working around Los Angeles right now are Guitar Shorty and Finis Tasby, younger men trying to carry on early L.A. blues.

The Times gives far too little coverage to blues, and it seems to me it would be better if that minuscule coverage could at least spotlight our own fine bluesmen.

STEVE BRIGATI

Los Angeles

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